Thursday, January 25, 2007

Travails of Sufferer of “Anxiety of Influence”

This week, the M.o.M. commences a sporadic feature in which a spotlight is cast upon a previously unknown person in order to illuminate the sundry activities of his or her life for the general amusement of our readership. This week’s lucky candidate is Vincent Fairbairn, a 38 year-old employee of Movie Station in Oliver Square, Edmonton.

In his own words, Fairbairn is a “victim of his lofty aspirations.” He has aspired to be, in this order, a rock star, a film director and a novelist. So far, he has failed to accomplish anything more than incur debt, lose friends, and become bitter.

“But I am a romantic,” admitted Fairbairn, “And I will not abandon my artistic pursuits – not for love or money.”

The M.o.M. offered him $20,000 to give up on writing his current novel.

“Are you serious?” Fairbairn inquired.

The M.o.M. politely informed him that we were not serious.

“Scoundrels!” Fairbairn hissed, in a surly fashion. He then announced that he would no longer be cooperating with the M.o.M. for this article.

“Whatever,” said the M.o.M. “We’ll cobble together an article by weaving together strands of rumour and innuendo to arrive at something approaching hearsay.”

“You do whatever the hell you want,” Fairbairn retorted. “You couldn’t possibly make me look like a bigger shithead than I already am.”

When the M.o.M. first mentioned Fairbairn’s name to his former friend, Jules Timberton, the heavy-duty mechanic of 36 spit out the word “loser!”

“I lent that guy five grand to make a vampire movie. What an idiot I was. Consider the premise. Blood of the Ancients was written by, directed by, and starring Vincent Fairbairn, who was even then – seven years ago – not much to look at, and yet we’re supposed to believe that he is able to travel through time and seduce, for his demonic purposes, Cleopatra, Boadicea and Mary Queen of Scots. All the money went to paying the amateur actresses, who were local strippers. Then Vince gets a crush on the girl playing Cleopatra, keeps making out with her even after the camera has stopped rolling, gets slapped, and the project slowly implodes from there. And I’m back in the oil patch, busting my ass, knowing I’ll never see a cent of that money again.”

Fairbairn’s attempt to be a rock star was equally costly and unfortunate. Gary Glitter (no relation to the convicted pedophile), the booking manager of Sidetrack Café, remembers when Fairbairn’s hardcore band, Conformity Sux, landed a gig at his venue in the early nineties.

“He sweet-talked me into it,” said Glitter. “It was the worst booking of my life.”

Somehow, after drinking six pints of Traditional Ale and smoking two joints, Fairbairn became convinced that an A&R man from Columbia records would be in the audience that night. No one quite knows where Fairbairn got the idea. But when Conformity Sux took the stage, Fairbairn gave the most incendiary performance of his life. He screamed himself hoarse during the first number, “Fuck the Clergy,” and gasped his way through the second number, “Death to the Neo-Cons.” During the third and final number, Fairbairn decided that his band should destroy their instruments. He smashed his Fender into the stage, snapping its neck. He then proceeded to attack the instruments of the drummer, bassist, and keyboardist. Despite his bandmates’ best attempts to protect their equipment, Fairbairn’s destructive frenzy caused thousands of dollars in damage, including to the Sidetrack itself. From the estimates of various sources, this performance cost Fairbairn three thousand dollars, much of which had to be recovered through small claims court.

“Shit happens,” concludes Glitter with a shrug.

Fairbairn has been busy pollinating his latest project for five years but it is still no nearer to bearing fruit. The project is a fantasy trilogy called Doom of the Damned, and according to Fairbairn’s co-worker at Movie Station, Pedro Gonzales, the finished tome is expected to surpass two thousand pages. Fairbairn reportedly carries the entire manuscript with him everywhere and as a result, has developed severe back problems. However, a crisis has beset this latest project. When Pedro read Part One of Doom of the Damned, he observed that it was a lot like Lord of the Rings.

“Only it wasn’t, like, as poetic, and stuff,” he said.

Fairbairn, by all reports, subsequently “hit the wall” with Doom of the Damned, and has found out courtesy of Wikipedia that he is suffering from the “anxiety of influence.” He has recently been heard pondering out loud, “Will I ever emerge from Tolkien’s voluminous shadow?”

Pedro Gonzales does not agree that Fairbairn's chief problem is "anxiety of influence."

"He just needs to get laid more."